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Catcher's Throwing Hand Position

This first video has Coach Mike Candrea (2004 Gold Medal winning Olympic Coach and 2008 Silver Medal winning Olympic).  Current University of Arizona Head Coach with EIGHT Women's College World Series Championships.

The catcher in the video is Tairia Flowers.  She is the current Head Coach at Cal State Northridge.  She played catcher for UCLA winning one World Series and 2nd place in two more.  She also has a Gold and Silver Medal in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics.

Watch her throwing hand placement at 3:30 in the Video

VIDEO #1

The next video is just a catcher from the Palomar Comets College Softball team.  Just watch where she puts her throwing hand.

VIDEO #2

Video Three talks about blocking, but really does a good job showing the starting position of the throwing hand.

VIDEO #3

Video Four is of Paige Halstead (catcher UCLA 2017).  She keeps her hand in her glove until right before the pitch gets to her and then drops it slightly to the side.

VIDEO #4

The fifth video has Ashley Holcombe.  Shows her throwing hand position really good.

VIDEO #5

The sixth video is of Megan Willis (she caught Cat Osterman).  She was a 4 year starter as catcher at University of Texas and played 8 years professional softball for USSSA Pride, where she coaches now.  Start watching at 1:50.

VIDEO #6

The seventh video is of game #1 from last year's World Series between UCLA and Oklahoma.  It's a 12 minute video of the highlights of the game.  In this video, I counted 27 pitches that they show.  26 of them have the throwing hand on the side of the leg.  It's especially obvious at 7:20, 7:39, 9:25 and 11:48.  

VIDEO #7

I have never seen a high level SOFTBALL catcher or ​SOFTBALL catcher training that recommends placing the throwing hand on the thigh.  SOMETIMES, in BASEBALL, you will see a recommendation that the throwing hand be held in a fist and placed in the crease where the leg bends into the waist.  There is also a Catcher's Camp run by Jay Weaver which teaches both boys and girls to hold their throwing hand BEHIND the glove.  Again, Baseball and Softball are two entirely different games.   Even though baseball pitchers throw faster, because softball pitchers are SIGNIFICANTLY closer to the plate, Softball batters and catchers have LESS time to react to a pitch than baseball players do.  The video below does a great job of showing how an elite softball batter has .25 seconds to respond to a pitch, where a MLB Baseball batter has .55 seconds.  This is why baseball players can't hit a softball.  It is a mistake to teach softball and baseball catching the same.

VIDEO #8

There are two basic concerns for where a catcher places her throwing hand:

     1)  To protect the hand... mostly from a foul tip.

     2)  To make for an easy throw, or block.

Placing the hand on the thigh makes it and the arm vulnerable to a foul tip and slows it's reaction time.  Placing the hand behind the back is also not good, because it increases the chance of a shoulder injury and slows reaction time.  For that reason, the best place to put your throwing hand during the pitch is beside your right leg, behind the knee (for protection), ready to throw or block. 

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